THUNDER BAY – The preservation of wildlife is key in Northwestern Ontario to making a difference in our region. Our population of deer and moose offer a great source of The Ministry of Natural Resources’ chronic wasting disease surveillance program for 2010 received a great response from the public. With the help of local media coverage, the ministry received 1,393 deer heads for testing. We are happy to report that all of them tested negative for chronic wasting disease.
Here are some facts about the chronic wasting disease surveillance program:
• With the assistance of local deer hunters, the Ministry of Natural Resources was able to test 1,393 deer for chronic wasting disease this fall.
• The ministry relies on hunters to provide samples of deer brain tissue for the surveillance program. Thanks to all the hunters who helped us out!
• All the tests were negative. There is no evidence of chronic wasting disease in Ontario’s wild deer.
Chronic wasting disease is a fatal disease affecting members of the deer family.
• The disease has never been found in wild deer or other animals in Ontario, but has been identified in western Canada and many American states. While similar to “mad cow disease” in cattle, there is no evidence that chronic wasting disease can be transmitted to humans or to domestic livestock.
• In southwestern Ontario (Niagara – London – Guelph – Clinton area), 1, 031 deer heads were tested.
• In northwestern Ontario (Fort Frances – Kenora – Dryden area) 362 deer heads were tested.
• Since 2002 when the ministry began testing for chronic wasting disease, more than 8,400 white-tailed deer have been tested, with all results negative.